Studies Show That People Tend to Think They Look Better on Mirror


Last Updated on 2021-08-06 , 5:31 pm

Do you know that what you see in the mirror is not your “true” self? Have you ever looked at a photograph of yourself and think that, wow why do I look so damn ugly?

Well here is an explanation that might make you rethink about looking at yourself in the mirror, and your self-perception.

Have you heard of the Mere-Exposure Effect? The mere-exposure effect was first proposed in the ’60s by Stanford psychologist Robert Zajonc.

It refers to a psychological phenomenon where a person develops a liking for an item, person (be it the self or other), simply because of his or her repeated encounters and exposure with it.

This means that yes, familiarity will lead you to better like someone, or something!

Furthermore, this Mere-Exposure effect is also found in other species.


However, what has this got to do with liking ourselves in the mirror? The only time we ever get to see ourselves is when we are standing in front of a mirror. We see ourselves as a flipped image of how we look like in real life.

One thing interesting to note is that our faces are not exactly symmetrical. All the little crooks, alignment and sizes will have some degree of discrepancy between the left and right side of our faces.

This means that what you see in the mirror is not the real you because these facial discrepancies are flipped. It is an inverted version of yourself.

On the other hand, when we look at photographs of ourselves, what we see is the true versions of ourselves: the un-flipped version. According to the mere-exposure effect, when your slight facial asymmetries are left in its original position by the camera, you see an unappealing, alien version of yourself, different from what you usually see in the mirror.


In 1977, a study titled “Reversed Facial Images and the Mere-Exposure Hypothesis,” psychologists Theodore H. Mita, Marshall Dermer and Jeffrey Knight demonstrated that individuals prefer a facial photograph that is their mirror image rather than their true image.

This is due to the Mere-Exposure Effect and our preference for our mirror-self instead of our true self.

We are all concerned about how attractive we are to other people, and we will always want to show our “best” side to others, but in reality, we might just be the only ones who find our mirror-selves attractive.

So, if you think “mirroring” the pictures of you on Instagram will make you more attractive, remember that it is only your perception of your attractiveness, other people might just find you a tad bit weird instead.

Featured Image: aslysun /

Your parents are wrong: MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) is good for you (sort of). Here’s the truth:

Read Also: